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But what is Raw disk

For raw disk I/O, page cacheing and the paging mechanism are not used; the data is read or written directly between the device and the user address space. Thus, raw disk I/O avoids the need to copy between the kernel address space and user address space. Each read or write system call results in a physical disk transfer. Raw I/O, coupled with synchronous writes is often used by database management systems. They control when the data is read and/or written to or from the disk, and perform disk updates only when necessary.

Raw disk I/O is achieved using character special files with associated character device software. However, a driver that is implemented with both block and character functionality will use indirect calls to the block driver strategy() function via physiock() to the achieve the physical I/O operation

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